Subliminal semantic priming in near absence of attention: A cursor motion study.
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The role of attention in subliminal semantic priming remains controversial: some researchers argue that attention is necessary for subliminal semantic priming, while others suggest that subliminal semantic processing is free from the influence of attention. The present study employs a cursor motion method to measure priming and evaluate the influence of attention. Specifically, by employing a semantic priming task developed by Naccache, Blandin, and Dehaene (2002), we investigate the extent to which top-down attention influences semantic priming. Results indicate that, consistent with the Naccache et al. (2002) results, attention facilitates priming. However, inconsistent with their theory, significant priming is still observed even in near absence of attention. We suggest that top-down attention helps but is not necessary for subliminal semantic processing.